Hints and Whispers

Walking at Morden Park this weekend was wonderful.

Snowdrops pushing up the leaves.

Snowdrops pushing up the leaves.

The Snowdrops were showing – just starting – Spring is coming!  Shh!

Happy Whispers


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Off the Needles

Wheel house Button from the top C.C. Slight.

Wheel house Button from the top C.C. Slight.

Meet Flo the flirty llama from the top of the Andean Dreams Tea-cozy.

Meet Flo the flirty llama from the top of the Andean Dreams Tea-cozy.

It is the New Year and now halfway into January – what are your plans and or resolutions for 2016!  I have been asked this several times in the last week or so.  Here is my answer.  I would love to hear yours as well.

Like always I am knitting like crazy – it is what I do for fun, entertainment, and even for income!  By most definitions I am retired – everyday I do what I love – the classic definition of retirement!

And what is best is that I am allowed, nay, encouraged to share my love of knitting with any one who will listen – including you!!  LOL!  I am so happy that you keep on listening.

Tulip Fields Fore-ever!

Tulip Fields Fore-ever!

I have plans for 4 shawls;

  • Tulip Fields Fore-ever, I am hoping to have a KAL for it starting in mid-Februray – knitting is done, pattern writing has commenced, test knitting will start soon.
  • Cloisonné Shetland – a Shetland Lace Moebius – sample for a class and then a pattern for sale.  This one is knit in Kettle Tweed, by KnitOne CrochetToo.  The colour is called Cloisonné, a rich turquoise/green and gold kettle dyed colourway.  Like Tulip the knitting is done and the pattern writing will now commence.
  • Hello Dolly – a Crescent shawl edged with a mosaic butterfly pattern and embellished with butterflies – class sample and then a pattern for sale.  This one is now delayed a little.  I, umm, felt the need to create a new Cozy – Andean Dreams – sprang fully formed into my mind.
  • Rhiannon`s Wrap – a smaller version of Rhiannon`s Cloak, incorporating many of the patterns and elements of the first – with the 24K gold delicas and all the attitude of the original!  This one will be ready for a Summer KAL!  Starting this one this evening!

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Andean Dreams Tea-Cozy

Andean Dreams Tea-Cozy

I had no plans for a tea-cozy, but I have one fully knit none the less!  The cozy is called Andean Dreams and is topped by Flo, a very flirty llama!

C.C. Snugs Fingerless Mittens.

C.C. Snugs Fingerless Mittens.

I had been wanting to design a hat to go with the C.C. Snugs fingerless mitten pattern.

The designing is done and the test knit is done and the pattern is almost ready to go!

Samples are knit in Buffalo Wool Co Skies, natural and Extra Fine Merino 120, soft green.

Wheel house button under construction.

Wheel house button under construction.

What I really like about this pattern is the button finishing the crown – it is called a Wheelhouse Button and you can find the instructions on Kate Davies Blog.  I had so much fun making these buttons – but I do recommend a lid from a yogurt container for the form – the cardboard one started to fall apart before I finished the button!  The plastic lid worked great!

First mitten is well underway!

First mitten is well underway!

The MAE Retreat project is well underway and the pattern has even been started – and it is still over a month away!  We will be working on mittens.  Simple mittens for those who want them or lace mittens, lined in contrasting colours!  I am so excited.

I love years that start like this!  Touch wood that nothing will get “mucked” up.

I did knit a few Christmas projects as well – a couple of hats for family and some baby mittens.  I think that being a Grandmother is going to be a lot of fun!

I did knit one new hat for a pattern – Snowy Day Firs!  A quick chunky hat!  Perfect for next Christmas Giving!

Happy New Year and Happy Knitting




Posted in Design - Creation, Design - Execution, knitting, Moebius Cast-on, pattern, Retreat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cold Weather on The Wet Coast

Even the Sun looks cold - trying to burn through the overcast sky.

Even the Sun looks cold – trying to burn through the overcast sky.


IMG_5065 (1024x989)Cold and clear or cold and overcast – it was cold enough to freeze water on any surface.  From the ground on up, dripping from branches, coating mosses, rose hips or ozing from broken tree limbs.

Gone to the birds.

Birds were everywhere today – on the branches, floating across the water and in the air.

Calm and Cold

Reflections on life.  Everything was being perfectly reflected on the waters around our walks.

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Happy Viewing


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It Never Fails to Amaze….

Painted Leaves.

Painted Leaves.

Lichens and mosses grow furiously right now - they add texture and colour to the bare branches areound us.

Lichens and mosses grow furiously right now – they add texture and colour to the bare branches areound us.

Our beautiful Island never fails to amaze and thrill me!  On our weekly walks I always find something new and wonderful to admire and photograph.  No matter how familliar the path.

Leaves, bushes, trees all have something new to offer.

The walk on the Sunday of the last weekend of December was particularly thrilling.

Looking down the River

Looking down the River

We went to the Nanaimo River Canyon.   It is always a pleasant walk, lots of scenic changes and usually quite a few bird sitings.  This walk was no exception.

Fresh snow on Mount Benson.

Fresh snow on Mount Benson.

It had rained heavily the night before.  But now the air was clear and the skies were blue with a few low hanging clouds.  Rain last night meant that there was fresh snow on top of Mount Benson.  It was a beautiful morning for a walk.

Raindrops like diamonds covered the bare branches of the bushes around us.

Raindrops like diamonds covered the bare branches of the bushes around us.

I could hear eagles in the distance and could see one perched high up on a bare tree branch surveyings its world.

As we moved away from the main river stream turned down the path to the SideBar Channel (my name for it), and re-entered the forest the sounds of the Eagles got louder.

Just hanging around as we walked on by.

Just hanging around as we walked on by.

There was a loud swoosh overhead and we looked up to see a large young eagle flying close overhead – it landed on a branch not to far away and remained quietly posed long enough for me to take a picture.  As we continued along the path there was another swoosh and another eagle flew overhead.  The kyrie crys of the eagles were getting louder as well;  another swoosh overhead – this was more activity by eagles than I had ever encountered before.  And much closer to my head than every before.  I was awed, amazed and not entirely comfortable with so much movement going on so close overhead!

Three right above my head!!

Four right above my head!!

7 Eagles were perched on the branches above the stream.

7 Eagles were perched on the branches above the stream.

A few steps further and we were at the Sidebar.  As I looked down the stream I counted 7 more eagles lining the trees down stream!  Four almost directly above my head.  Eleven eagles in one day, in one walk, in one location – I was literally awestruck!

The reason for the congregation wasn’t hard to understand – there were several large salmon carcasses on the ground and a few more in the stream.  It was feeding time at the River.

I had never seen so many of the large birds in one place – and will not ever forget this experience.

Happy Walking




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Sugar Coated Morning

Sugar Coated Rose Hips

Sugar Coated Rose Hips

It was a glorious clear morning at Neck Point Park.  The air was crisp and fresh.  The light was bright and beautiful.  That cold, clear Winter light that casts shadows and high lights every shape!

Clear and Calm morning waters.

Clear and Calm morning waters.

There was no wind and the Ocean waters were calm and quiet – perfectly flat.  The horizon stretch out and on forever.  This is my favourite kind of morning.

The frost was thick around the waters’ edge and coated the field grasses.  There were rainbows on the edges of the pathways across the meadow in the park.  The hoar frost softened all of the edges of the driftwood and dried grasses alike – it was a shimmering kind of morning.

The Rose hips were particularly beautiful.  I kept finding more and more.  Some red and plump, some black and shrivelled, all with a thick coat of sugary frosting.  They were highlighted by sun at some points and hidden in shade at others.  Each presented its own beauty.

Such wonderful light and such clear air – a glorious day for photography.  From the ice on the pond and the fungus amongst the leaves every detail was outlined and sharp to the eye.

IMG_4731It was cold enough to force the water from the downed branches – candy cotton ice reaching out to the sun!

Happy New Year


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Time vs. Speed

I have run straight, smack dab, face planted in fact, into the phenomenon of time vs. speed.  It is almost Christmas – less than two weeks away – and I am stunned by the speed with which this last year has passed!

My intentions for the year were good – blog regularly, design a few patterns, and knit every day.  Well, as the song says “two out of three, ain’t bad”!  LOL!

I am working on two new patterns for the New Year – Tulip Fields Forever, a lacy half-pi shaped shawl knit with Maryanne’s Socks.  This one is slated to be a KAL starting in Mid February.  The KAL will be called Dreaming of Spring.  And the Furrowed Skies Blanket Vest, knit with Buffalo Wool Co, Buffalo Skies DK.  I need one of those vests for myself!  Both are looking great and I will keep you updated.  Just finished – Makin’ Mittens.

I am now knitting Christmas Presents – and the push is on!  How about you?   Are you knitting gifts for Christmas?  If so, what?  There is still time – I mean – almost two weeks – that could be a pair of mittens, a hat, a scarf – maybe all three!  Where is the Magnum when you need it!  LOL!  A couple of Chunky hats are in my near future!

I am also baking this year – well I have added Christmas Cake, both light and dark to the list and what’s more I actually baked them!  Today I baked the walnut shortbread (my favorite), it is cooling on the racks; and we still need more regular shortbread – some one seems to be eating it!

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Decorating is next – looking forward to the house being ready for Christmas.  We bought the tree today, a noble fir.  It smells so good!

It isn’t raining right now – but it has for most of the last few weeks.  Today was the first day I had really walked!  We hadn’t done much real walking for the last two weekends – I missed it – I missed the pictures and the time outside.

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Today we went to Piper’s Lagoon.  I revelled in the wind, with just a touch of rain.  My ears and fingers were cold, but it was great!  We watched and admired a couple of Kayakers that braved the waves – it would have been hard work to stay upright and moving forward over that surf.


There was no beach this morning – just waves rolling right up to the logs that lined the shore.

No pretty flowers, just interesting leaves and struggling weeds to photograph today!

Happy Planning, Knitting and Decorating



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Makin’ Mittens

IMG_4116Mittens have a long and storied history.  Every cold culture has a  mitten story, has a mitten style and knows that mittens are important!  We, as knitters, know how much fun a mitten can be to knit.  Have you tried knitting a Thrummed mitten from Newfoundland; or some Twined knit mittens from Sweden; Or some Estonian Braids on a current mitten project for embellishment?  My favorite mittens to knit are the fair-isle style of mitten – thought any mitten with colourwork can tempt me.

Mittens keep your hands warm on cold days – “Warm hands, warm heart”.

Mittens can showcase a knitters skill – right where your eyes can see it!

Mittens take little material and fair-isle mittens use up scraps.

Mittens are perfect for honing a new skill before a big project!

Over the years there have been many books written on the subject of mittens.  They discuss the history and culture behind each style of mitten and there are always many pictures to illustrate the information.  I love to look at the pictures of the mittens and the people wearing them, because these books mostly show how little has changed.  My favorite pattern book is an older book, Knitting Fair Isle Mittens and Gloves, by Carol Rasmussen Noble.

A perfect example of the continuing importance of mittens would be the Red Canadian Mitten from the 2010 Olympic games in Vancouver – those mittens became a nations symbol of solidarity behind “their” Athletes!

Luckily we no longer need to knit 50 pairs of mittens as wedding gifts – as in Estonia in the past.  But the skills and the patterns of that past still fascinate us today and we still knit the mittens and gloves with love in our hearts. Seasons Greetings

Here is my gift of warmth and love for the Christmas Season – the Making Mittens pattern – free from Dec 13th, 2015 to Jan 2, 2016.  Update – It is now Jan 3rd – here is the link to the pattern on Ravelry.  Makin’ Mittens is now $6.00.

Makin’ Mittens Pattern ← Click here for pattern

Makin’ Mittens came out of the Year of Making – a project by The Buffalo Wool Co, a year of colours in their Tracks sock yarn.  A colour a month for the full year – the orange sample uses 11 of those colours – but you can use any of the fingering; 4-ply; or sock yarns in your stash.

Happy Knitting



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